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Internet star Hosung Choi receives sponsor exemption into Pebble Beach

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Internet sensation Hosung Choi has accepted a sponsor exemption into next month’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

It’s the first Tour start for Choi, the South Korean journeyman who now has a legion of fans after his unorthodox swing made the rounds on social media. The 45-year-old, who is ranked 200th in the world, has three consecutive top-17s on the Japan Tour, including a victory late last year at the Casio World Open.

“I never imagined this day would come,” Choi said Monday, according to Korean media outlets. “I took up golf at the age of 25, after a hard life. I’m fully aware that none of this would be possible without the love and support of my fans. I will, of course, do my best, wherever I go.”

Nearly 6,000 fans have signed an online petition in hopes of persuading Phoenix Open officials to extend an invitation to Choi. Tournament organizers have not responded to a recent request for comment.

The Pebble Beach National Pro-Am will be held Feb. 7-10.